Third wave affecting more adults than children: War room

A healthworker collecting swab samples of commuters for COVID-19 tests, at KSRTC Kempegowda bus stand, in Bengaluru.

A healthworker collecting swab samples of commuters for COVID-19 tests, at KSRTC Kempegowda bus stand, in Bengaluru.

Amidst suspension of most offline academic activities in view of the third wave of the pandemic, data has revealed that the infection is spreading more rapidly among adults than in children.

According to the data shared by Munish Moudgil,Head, State COVID War Room, as of Tuesday, a comparison of the COVID-19 infection spread in children (0 to 18 years) versus adults (above 18 years) showed that the ratio has declined from the second wave to the third wave. This means that manifested COVID-19 infection spread among children in the third wave is lower thanit was during the second. “In other words, COVID-19 is spreading more among adults than among children during the third wave as compared to the second wave,” it says.

The positivity rate among children and adults was calculated for different months during the two waves. For the0 to 18 years age group, while the positivity rate for January has been5.69% against7,64,198 tests, in May 2021, it had shot up to24.61% against4,11,631 tests during the second wave. In comparison, for adults, the positivity rate this month has been13.31% against21,26,797 tests, while it was26.68% in May 2021 against35,49,968 tests, the data shows. Across all months of comparison, adults have been more impacted by the infection than children.

However, doctors have advised caution.Sanjay D. Swamy, Chief Paediatric Intensivist, SPARSH Hospital, told The Hindu this might be because not everyone who has a cold, cough and fever is getting tested this time. “We might be underestimating the numbers. This year’s Omicron virus is easy to spread, but less dangerous. In other words, it has low virulence, meaning it causes less severe illness. In such an easy spreading variant, I am sure the numbers are very high. However, the testing rate might be low,” he said.

He pointed out that not everyone who is coming to hospitals is getting tested. “Because of the social taboo of testing positive, many are even refusing to undergo the test. Many are getting treated at home through video consultations. That’s another reason why so many people are getting better at home,” he said.

He added that many are isolating and know what to do,probably because they are more educated this time. But he urgedall parents to get vaccinated. “Children above the age of 15 should also get vaccinated. Additionally, other precautions such as social distancing, isolation, and masks must be strictly followed. It’s best if children can avoid going to school because that’s the only way to avoid COVID-19 without a vaccination. Another option is to take the flu vaccine which offers some protection for children. If children haven’t taken the annual flu vaccine, it might be good to get it done,” he said.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 6:54:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/third-wave-affecting-more-adults-than-children-war-room/article38293675.ece